The winter has been long and arduous and seemingly continues to grasp on for dear life as Mother Nature yet again sneezes out her pillowy white droplets of iced water onto Boston. All the while the world has watched on with disbelief and pity. This has been proven once again by my overnight stopover in New York where Boston’s winter continued to be a hot topic of discussion in the airport and New Yorkers looked on with pity as they learned Boston was to be my final destination.
So I am only left to wonder “What gives Mother Nature”?
As the snow continues to fall from the heavens, I can hardly believe that Easter is hippety hopping our way. In my mind I think of Easter as the segue to Spring. The start of rejuvenation and rebirth. A time in which the landscape embarks on a journey of change, transforming from a dreary wasteland to a hub of activity dotted with a confetti of colors bursting from the Earth. But this clearly will not be the case this year and I will be hoping and praying that the cold and snowy weather that continues to plaque the East Coast will soon be nothing but a hopelessly distant memory.
Whether Mother Nature chooses to cooperate or not this Easter, I decided I would start to channel Earth’s rebirth by baking this Chocolate Easter egg cake. The little candy coated chocolate eggs that cling to this cake’s edge give a gentle nod to the blooms that, I hope, will soon be poking their little buds innocently from the ground and dotting the landscape with an explosion of color.
Chocolate Easter Egg Cake
FOR THE CAKE:
Makes two 9 inch cakes or sixteen 4 inch cakes.
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups freshly brewed, hot coffee
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mini chocolate eggs*
Preheat oven to 300° F.
Brew your coffee. Relax, peruse my blog and enjoy a cup of joe.
Prepare the pans:
Use that energizing coffee to melt the chocolate by placing the chocolate in a heat proof bowl, pouring the coffee over it, and stirring until the chocolate is nice and smooth. Set the chocolate aside to cool and move onward with the rest of the cake making operation.
In a big bowl, combine the dry ingredients ( flour through salt). Use a fine mesh sieve to aerate these ingredients. Try not to make a mess while you are doing this.
In another big bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer until they have started to thicken.
Add the oil, buttermilk, vanilla extract and the cooled chocolate coffee mixture to the eggs and continue beating until all these ingredients are combined.
Continue to beat and slowly add in the flour mixture. You are done when all the ingredients look well mixed and you no longer see powder.
Pour the batter into your prepared pans.
If you are using 4 inch pans, bake for 40-45 minutes. If you are using 9 inch pans, bake for 50-60 minutes. You know the cakes are raring to go when you insert a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean.
Finish any remaining coffee. You deserve it.
Keep the cakes in the pans and let them cool completely before removing them.
Frost (see below) and decorate with the chocolate mini eggs. Congratulate yourself as you will soon be the talk of Easter.
FOR THE FROSTING:
2 sticks of butter
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Before you start to bake the cake, remove the sticks of butter from the refrigerator and allow them to warm to room temperature.
Aerate the powdered sugar by running it through a fine mesh sieve. Measure it out before you aerate it because the volume will expand after you run it through the sieve.
In a big bowl, whip the butter using an electric mixer. Do this until the butter is light and fluffy.
Slowly add the powdered sugar to the whipped butter and continue to whip until the frosting is light and airy.
Beat in the vanilla extract and heavy whipping cream. You can add more or less whipping cream to achieve the consistency of your dreams.